The Sacred Path of Love 2016 Day 1
Let Go and Let God
by Dr Omar Mahmood
In blindness, there is a lot of tawakkul that goes on, a lot of trust placed in Allah. (Qad Kafani by Imam al Haddad)
A very comforting thing for the believer to remind themselves of: it is good enough that Allah knows. If Allah knows, that is enough for me. I do not have to think too hard about how to overcome the situation and so on and so forth. If you find that the issue is becoming too complex for you, it’s a sign that you are overburdening yourself.
A lot of patients with dementia find it hardest to give up their drivers’ license. It is that sense of independence of being able to get in your car and drive somewhere and be in control. So the metaphor of driving is very useful for the believer in thinking about how to relinquish control in life.
One of my teachers told me that if it wasn’t for dhikr, we would always be depressed and angry and in an emotional mess. Dhikr gives you that coping mechanism for things in life.
When somebody wrongs you, you don’t really know what their story is. You do not know why they are in such a horrible state. You could remind yourself that could be me one day and I am going to need someone to forgive me when I am in that same horrible state.
Letting go can be terrifying. It seems almost counter-intuitive to let go so you can feel at ease.
In Jiu Jitsu, one of the concepts is to get your grip. You have to get a grip of your opponent. It’s a key concept. When you’re first starting out in Jiu Jitsu, you keep trying to grab the opponent and hold on for as long as you like. But you can only do that for so long before getting tired. The higher-level black belts have very fluid grips, most of the time their hands are very open and soft. They’ll grip, throw, and then be done. They don’t waste a lot of energy doing it. This is how we are on the spiritual path: at first we try to hold on to everything in our lives as much as we can, but it can be very tiring and exhausting. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan anything in life: you just have to plan for things in very efficient ways so it won’t exhaust you.
It is a little bit of bad adab (etiquette) to think that you always have to be in control of things. The reality is that Allah never loses control of anything. We tend to get carried away with worry about everything in life, but we’re forgetting that Allah is always control. Don’t freak out.
[A prayer when you travel] “I’m going to travel. O Allah, You are my companion when I travel.” That gives you comfort. You’re the companion, Ya Allah. Even if I’m alone, You’re with me. But Allah isn’t only with Me, but He is also watching over the other aspects of my life: with my family, my children, etc.
Sometimes, even when you are in a state of heedlessness, when Allah wants to remind you of Him, He sends you a trial, and that makes you repent and remember Allah. So, whether you are heedless or not, He will send you a trial that will make you become grateful for Him and deepen your relationship with Him.
There is nothing you could ever do to be fully in control and that means that you are not meant to be fully in control either.
In physical training, you need repetition to make the muscle memory occur. It is the same thing with dhikr. Throughout the day, keep saying Lailaha ilAllah, so that Lailaha ilAllah naturally rolls off your tongue, so that when the situation occurs and you need it, it will just roll off your tongue naturally.
Remembering death every day helps you to disconnect from the dunya and not be overwhelmed by material things in your life, and to remember that none of what you are going through will last.